The First 15

Wednesday May 1, 2024

by Jan Davis

Today is Wednesday, May 1 and we are studying the Gospel of John chapter thirteen.

Opening Prayer

Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as I begin a new day, I seek your presence. Before the events of today begin I focus myself completely on you. I invite you into the intimacies of my thoughts and feelings. Examine my intentions, guide my motivations, inspire my plans, and accompany my comings and goings. Remind me that you are close by my side every step of the way. Amen.

Scripture Reading

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:12-17


Washing the feet of his disciples was a symbolic action that revealed Jesus’ limitless love for his followers. All of the disciples struggled to understand his divinity and one disciple was about to betray him to the authorities. After he had washed all of their feet, Jesus laid aside the towel, put on his outer tunic and resumed his place at the table. He asked if they understood what he had done for them. Then he answered his own question. Even though they witnessed the footwashing and took part in it, they did not yet understand Jesus as Teacher and Lord. A proper understanding would lead them to repeat this action among themselves. He set them an example of sacrificial love and they were to love one another in the same way.

Christ followers are to do to others as Christ has done for us. We have been humbly served by Christ and we are called to a life of humble, dedicated service. We have been graciously forgiven by Christ and we are called to forgive others. We are to live lives of love. Giving ourselves for others. Pouring ourselves out in faithful acts of kindness and mercy. Jesus tells his followers in all times, in all places, living in all types of circumstances, that he has set an example for us. The knowledge and love of Jesus flowed into sacrificial action. Our knowledge and love for Jesus should also flow into action. We commit to love even if it leads to sacrifice. We commit to love others even when they come to betray us like Judas. We love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

I consider the ways I love and serve others. I examine my intention for serving and the condition of my heart. Are there things I consider too menial or beneath my station? Are there actions that I resent, places where I am intolerant, things I don’t have time for, people I don’t have patience with? Perhaps God is calling me to a place of humble service – washing someone’s feet. Maybe God is inviting me to wrap a towel around my waist, roll up my sleeves and demonstrate God’s great sacrificial love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Ask: Where is God calling me to serve? Who is God calling me to love?

Pause and Pray

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, you gave me the example of humble servanthood. Forgive me when I am impatient with the needs of others, when I resent menial tasks, when I consider my time more important, when my needs take higher priority, when I am unwilling to stoop down from my pride and lower myself to a place of sacrificial love. Fill me with your grace, sanctify me through your Holy Spirit and teach me what it means to live a life of loving service. Amen.

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The First 15

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